Sir Desmond MacCarthy

Sir Desmond MacCarthy

Plymouth, Plymouth Unitary Authority, Devon, England
Death 7 Jun 1952 (aged 75)
Cambridge, City of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
Burial Cambridge, City of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
Plot 1H2
Memorial ID 10462474 · View Source
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Author. British literary and dramatic critic. Born in Plymouth, he was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took a History degree. In 1903, he began to write book reviews and dramatic criticism for The Speaker. From 1907 to 1910, he edited The New Quarterly. In 1913, on the founding of The New Statesman, he became the dramatic critic of that magazine; and, from 1920 to 1927, its literary editor, under the pseudonym "Affable Hawk" (he was said to have had noticeably aquiline features.) During the First World War, he served with the Red Cross in a section attached to the French Army and, later, worked at the Admiralty. In 1928, he succeeded Sir Edmund Gosse as the literary critic of The Sunday Times, for which he continued to write for the rest of his life; and, in the same year, he founded a magazine called Life and Letters, which he edited for five years. He published eight books in his lifetime, of which the best-known are "Portraits" (1931) and "Shaw" (1951); three further volumes appeared after his death. He was, in addition, well-known as a broadcaster on the B.B.C. Although MacCarthy is often regarded as having been a member of the Bloomsbury Group, he himself remarked that "Bloomsbury has never been a spiritual home for me." In 1945, MacCarthy became the President of P.E.N. in Great Britain; and, in 1951, he was knighted by King George VI. The following year, he died suddenly, two days after receiving an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Cambridge University. In 1906, he had married Mary (known as Molly) Warre-Cornish, the daughter of the Provost of Eton. She was herself a writer, notably of "A Nineteenth Century Childhood" and the novel "A Pier and a Band", in which she appears as Perdita and her husband as FitzGerald.

Bio by: Iain MacFarlaine

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"Who Died Peacefully In Cambridge On June 7th 1952 Aged 75 Years After Receiving The Honorary Degree Of Litt.D. At Senate House On June 5th 1952..."



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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Iain MacFarlaine
  • Added: 12 Feb 2005
  • Find a Grave Memorial 10462474
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sir Desmond MacCarthy (20 May 1877–7 Jun 1952), Find a Grave Memorial no. 10462474, citing Ascension Parish Burial Ground, Cambridge, City of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .